Germany's Merkel sees tough G7 talks, warns on trade issues

Clay Curtis
June 9, 2018

Merkel told the German Bundestag (German parliament) on Wednesday that there is a serious problem with multilateral agreements and that is why there will be controversies, particularly on global trade, climate protection and development policies. She said Russia's removal was "unavoidable".

The June 8-9 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada, will begin with a working session on economic growth and trade - topical issues after U.S. President Donald Trump infuriated Canada and European Union G7 members by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The parliament's question and answer format will see Merkel address lawmakers in one-hour sessions three times a year.

Merkel is anticipated to deal with the Group of seven Western powers' summit in Quebec later this week after which face questions. She said that points to a "serious problem with multilateral agreements".

Merkel acknowledged that growing tensions between the US and its allies over Washington's withdrawal from worldwide agreements on climate change and Iran's denuclearization and its newly imposed trade tariffs would make the upcoming G7 summit in Canada a tense meeting.

Just days before the G7 in La Malbaie, Quebec, begins on Friday, Merkel said Germany hoped to at least preserve the progress made at last year's summit.

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"Dialogue is always important", she said during a question and answer session with German lawmakers.

Merkel was asked by lawmakers from the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, and hard-left Left Party whether it wouldn't make sense to talk more with Russian Federation.

German chancellors haven't previously interacted directly with lawmakers in the same way British prime ministers do at their weekly question time.

AfD, however, sought to assail Merkel over the influx of more than a million migrants to Germany in 2015 and 2016.

Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday "we should talk with each other before we keep on talking about each other".

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